Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Travel Memoirist Joseph Davida

Name: Joseph Davida
Book Title: “Traveling High and Tripping Hard”
Genre: Travel Memoir
Publisher: Dark Planet Press
Fine out more on Amazon
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Joseph: I had no choice. I was captured in an opium field in the Golden Triangle, and sent to a Burmese prison camp. The head prison guard found my work habits (digging holes) lacking, and beat me with a bamboo cane until three quarters of my body was covered in blood and bruises. I begged him to just leave my right hand alone, so I could still use it to comb my hair and write. Then we somehow wound up getting into a long conversation about Dostoyevsky, and he agreed to leave my hand alone—so long as I promised to write a book for him, and give him all of the profits. He is still holding my pet rat, “Ping”, hostage, so I really need to start selling a few copies ASAP.


Is this your first book?
Joseph: Yes. I attempted to write a cook book on French cuisine first, but my meager diet of crickets and half cooked rice left me so hungry, I wound up devouring all of the pages I had written one day during a fit of dehydration and delirium.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Joseph: I chose to self-publish this book. A friend of mine told me it could be months, if not years before a big publishing house will even release a new title—and every few weeks I’ve been getting a small package sent to me, with what appears to be little tiny rat toes inside. I just can’t stand the thought of what will happen to my beloved Ping if he is left inside that prison camp a digit-less cripple.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Joseph: Well, after I had finished the book, I was granted parole on the condition that I would get the book published immediately. I borrowed a rickshaw and pedaled it as quickly as I could to the first internet café I could find. Once I made it there, I got online, and set up an account with Amazon, and paid for the ISBN number with a golden Buddha amulet I stole off of a blind beggar. I felt really bad about taking it from him, but luckily, I still had enough credit to type up the entire manuscript, and find your blog.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Joseph: I learned you should never get caught milking poppies in a Burmese warlords’ opium field. As far as the publishing industry goes, it generally seems like a racket to get terrible writers to spend money on editors, book shepherds, and publicists.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Joseph: Self-publishing? Definitely not.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Joseph: Stop spending so much time discussing the particulars of publishing, and start writing about some shit that people will actually want to read.
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About the book:

Traveling High and Tripping Hard is the story of a young man’s quest to find the meaning of life through a series of altered states and high adventures... 

After accidentally ingesting a large dose of PCP at eight years old, Joseph Davida had an apocalyptic vision that would change the course of his life forever. Charged with the monumental task of saving the world, he set out on a mission that led him through the jungles of Central America, the pyramids of Egypt, the temples of Kathmandu—and into the deepest recesses of his mind. 

For anyone who has ever wanted a glimpse into those strange places that lie somewhere between the darkness and light, hope and despair, and spirituality and madness, Traveling High and Tripping Hard is guaranteed to deliver.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with M.J. Joseph, Author of 'The Lübecker'

Book Title: The Lübecker
Genre: Fiction            
Publisher: Peppertree Press
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Is this your first book?
Author: This is the first book I’ve chosen to publish. I’ve really never been motivated to share my work with the public, but, answering the question, posed by a few friends, “What have you been doing with yourself, lately?” forced their next question, “When may I read it?” and later, “You should have this book published!” prompted me to offer the book for publication.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: One cannot simply “have this book published”. I offered the book to a few traditional publishing houses and literary agents and received some encouragement, but no commitments.  With that, I lost interest in pursuing the matter further and decided to simply have a few more copies of the manuscript printed at a local office supply store to give to my children and some friends in Europe. Finally, the continuing encouragement from my small group of readers revived my interest in publishing and I began exploring opportunities that could offer some of the advantages of traditional publishing, with the provision that I pay the associated costs. Since it was not necessary that I realize significant income from publishing The Lübecker, and I had the means to pursue this method, I settled upon a small press that would review the book and decide if it would worth putting into their list.   
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author: I have no interest in pursuing traditional publishing in the future. Traditional publishing may pursue me, however.  Even if my work would prove acceptable to a major publishing house, I’m not certain that the guarantees that I would demand would encourage an agreement.
I would, however, suggest to anyone wishing to pursue an approach to publishing similar to mine, to begin by contacting individuals working in ancillary professions to the independent publishing industry for advice. Speak with several experienced publicists, owners of printing companies and owners of independent bookstores before committing to a publisher.  These professionals love their work, are generally very approachable and know that successful authors enhance their own success.  
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: I learned that an author should engage an attorney specializing in contract negotiation and litigation to review any contract offered by a publisher, being particularly careful with the numerous timelines that are generated by the process of getting a book to market. The attorney should send correspondence declaring their review of the proposed contract, and any questions they may have, to the publisher.  Stipulate that the publisher shall facilitate on behalf of the author the freedom to work directly with an editor, graphics professional and printer.  In this scenario, after all, the author bears the expense.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: This method of publishing may be appropriate for the author possessing sufficient financial resources to pursue the process. There are other ways to publish a book, depending on the author’s expectations. I am not inclined to encourage anyone to submit their work to agents and editors working within the constraints of traditional publishing, given my experience, but I recognize that for thousands of authors, traditional publishing is still viable.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Author: Write your book, submit your book to someone capable of copy editing your book and only then consider publishing opportunities. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Jody Gehrman, author of 'Watch Me'

Book Title: Watch Me
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Is this your first book? No, this is my eleventh published novel. It is, however, my first foray into psychological suspense.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
I went the traditional publishing route. I’ve explored just about every method of publishing—indie, hybrid, digital-first, trade paper, hardcover, audiobooks. While there are pros and cons to each, I love working with topnotch editors and publicity teams at major houses. Doing it all myself was too draining.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I signed my first book deal almost fifteen years ago with a major house. My first novel went to auction and we ended up with a three-book deal, which was exhilarating. I’d been scraping by as a writer for years, so it was a huge affirmation to finally feel wanted. When that deal was through I switched to writing Young Adult and signed a three-book deal with Penguin. After that, I wanted to explore indie publishing, which I did for a bit. Honestly, though, I found myself doing so much work on publicity, book design, and marketing that I felt overwhelmed. I’m thrilled to be working now with St. Martin’s Press and tackling a genre that’s new to me. I find writing suspense cathartic and invigorating. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Writing can be lonely. Collaborating with a team of professionals who are authentically excited about your book really helps counter that sense of isolation. Also, it gives you more time to write; they can handle the aspects of publishing you’re not trained to tackle. I have a huge amount of respect for indie writers who do it all. I’ve just come to the realization that I’m not that writer.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Yes, especially if you thrive on collaboration. It’s all about finding a home for your book that feels right. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most talented and articulate publishing professionals around. I learn so much from them. Eleven novels into my career, I still feel like I’m learning the ropes, especially since the publishing world is always in flux. 
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Surround yourself with people who understand the challenges of a creative life. Focus on the daily pleasures of doing the work. Enjoy the accolades, but remember that external validation is your dessert. Real nourishment comes from the work itself.